One of my favorite aphorisms about journalism is that it’s the first rough draft of history. True enough. Sometimes, though, it proves to be the only history, especially for local news of lesser import. And as for those stories that have follow-ups over time, the term “rough draft” may suggest that debut stories have a […]
Last year, in my “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” numeracy programs, I focused on the 2020 U.S. Presidential campaign. Anchoring the session each time was my “GOlympics” quiz, in which each letter (G-O-L-Y…etc) covers a mathematical principle that intersects with the art of story-telling. One of those queries: “Since Donald Trump became President, the Washington […]
In my journalism career, I had the opportunity to write about so many subjects—quite literally from A (archaeologists, academics, activists, annual budgets, and an astronaut, just for starters) to Z (maybe a zoo? a zebra? Well, at least some folks had first and last names starting with the 26th letter of the alphabet). However, I […]
Sometimes, we need a smack upside the head with a reminder that it’s not 1977 anymore. It’s not even 2002, not by a long shot. For the past 15 years in which I have been plying the public relations trade, I have been banging this particular drum, louder and more insistently: the so-called mainstream media […]
Post-virus, Donald Trump will continue to inhabit the parallel universe of his own imagination wherein he can do no wrong, the election is rigged, and the world revolves around him and his own self-delusion and selfishness.
Before President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this past Saturday evening, I predicted that 2 percent of those in attendance would be wearing masks as a precaution against catching the COVID-19 coronavirus. (You can find my forecast here, on my “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count” page.) Having heard that the capacity was 20,000 at the […]
When it comes to mindless journalistic blunders, there are brain cramps and then there are lobotomies. Example of a brain cramp: the time in the late-1990s when, as a newspaper reporter, I referred to a high school student as “Dustin Hoffman.” He shared a first name with the famous actor, but not the last name, […]
Twenty summers ago, on a warm mid-July night, my wife, Bridgett, and I ambled out of a Chicago bar. Sauntering toward the corner, we passed an older gentleman sweeping the sidewalk. On the fire escape directly above us, a woman gazed at us with a deep melancholy. And all around were scores of people, each […]